RESISTANCE CINEMA Presents “THIS IS WHERE WE TAKE OUR STAND” Displaced Films, Northern Lights Productions, Produced by Dave Zeiger & Bestor Cram, Directed by Dave Zeiger, Bestor Cram & Mike Majoros, copyright Take Our Stand LLC, (2011 – 63 minutes)
WHEN: Sunday May 27th 2012 1:15pm
WHERE: Community Church Gallery Room 28 East 35th st. btwn Park & Madison Aves.
ADMISSION: Free; donations appreciated
“This Is Where We Take Our Stand” could be called the sequel to the film of the famous “Winter Soldier” conference of 1971 when Vietnam Vets from all over the country gathered in Detroit to give testimony to their horrific personal experiences that led them to turn against the war in Vietnam. John Kerry, who participated in the conference, would later testify to congress about it. This contemporary film is the story of hundreds of veterans who risked everything to publicly tell their accounts of the horrors they witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The link to the original “Winter Soldier” conference is more than just inspirational. Dave Zeiger, one of the producers of this film was also in Detroit in 1971 and produced the film for that conference as well.
On March 13 of 2008 two hundred and fifty veterans and active-duty soldiers organized by Iraq Veterans Against The War marked the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by gathering in Washington, DC, to testify from their own experience about the nature of the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. It was chilling, horrifying, and challenging for all who witnessed it. Against tremendous odds, they brought the voices of the veterans themselves into the debate. “This is Where We Take Our Stand” is the inside story of those three days and the courageous men and women who testified-a story that’s as important to tell today as ever.
The film actually begins 6 weeks before the conference begins and specifically focuses on the experience of three vets: Geoffrey Millard, Selena Coppa, and Jason Washburn. We are taken behind the scenes to strategy sessions as they try to figure out ways to reach out and build support for their undertaking and to deal with the backlash that they knew would be intense by the military and right wing groups as well as pro-war vets.
Getting media coverage would be difficult and in the end over 50 international media outlets covered the three day conference while no U.S. mainstream media covered the event at all. These brave soldiers and veterans are challenging a public silence that runs very deep, underscoring a willingness to accept unspeakable horrors-as long as we don’t know about them. But as they repeatedly try to get across; the horrific acts of soldiers that shock us are not what brought them to oppose the war, it is the recognition that it is the nature of occupation that generates those acts.
The term “Winter Soldier” derives from the opening words of a famous pamphlet written during the winter of 1776 by Thomas Paine. In it he was denouncing those soldiers who had abandoned the revolutionary cause and returned home because of the bitterness of the cold.
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”